Tuiasosop and Neuheisel on the NFL Draft

April 21, 2001

Rick Neuheisel on Marques Tuiasosopo ...


'That is fantastic for Marques. I am very, very happy for him. It is well deserved. To me it shows that the Raiders put a premium on winning, put a premium on finding ways to win games and he certainly knows how to do that.'

Did UW's Offensive Style (Running Some Option) Hurt His Draft Status

'There is no question that we did not showcase him for NFL scouts in how we approached offensive football because the option is not something highly regarded at that level given the investment they put in those players. Marques was never one to even blink an eye about it. Marques was just 'hey, whatever it takes to win.' I think during the interview times that the NFL has had with him, I think he impressed many people in the league as a guy that knew how to win. I am elated that he has gone in the second round and I am elated that he has gone to a team that puts a premium on that, on winning.'

On the Raiders Asking About Tuiasosopo

'I think they (the Raiders) were more behind the scenes, rather than out in front. The Chargers were the most out in front, so it surprised me that he didn't go there in the second round after they dealt their first pick. But as I told Marques, he now gets to play San Diego twice a year.'

On Tuiasosopo

'You gotta watch him play and get to know the kid and have a feel for what he brings to you because it is much more than just taking snaps and throwing the football.'

Jim Plunkett wasn't thought of as the prettiest quarterback. Billy Kilmer wasn't though of as the prettiest quarterback and both of those guys made the Super Bowl. Not only having the will to win but also elevating the play other 10 guys in the huddle to have that same will, is was Marques possesses and the Raiders will love having him in their huddle and it will be neat that he will be in there behind a quality veteran like Gannon to learn the ropes from. Gannon is a guy that is a sure shot guy. He had to kind of work hard and he will have a lot of tricks and subtleties that Marques will benefit from greatly.

Marques Tuiasosopo Quotes

'We were thinking more the third round, but I am definitely excited. I am fired up to get out and have a chance play for an owner like Al Davis and a coach like Jon Gruden. That is something that I am totally looking forward to and something that I am definitely excited about. Right now, I am probably speechless, just fired up.'

Did you Think You Would Go This High

'I wasn't sure. I had a good meeting with them at the combine but nothing out of the ordinary. It was a surprise. I was on my way home from the spring game and got the call. I was like 'Man,' I couldn't believe it. I was just totally excited.'

On the Phone Call from the Raiders

'I talked to the head coach Jon Gruden. He said 'Hey, how are you doing. Marques Tuiasosopo, we have decided to take you with the 59th selection in the second round. We are fired up about you and can't wait to work with you and we'll call you back in a little bit and give you more details and introduce you to everybody.' It was a blast.'

Where Where you When the Call Came

'I was with Carmen Welsh who works with the agency (Steinberg) and a couple of my friends. We were driving home from the UW Spring Game.'

'I am excited about being selected by Oakland in the second round. I want to be like those other quarterbacks that succeeded in the NFL, the Warren Moons, the Chris Chandlers, the Brunells, the Hoberts, the Pelluers -- they have lasted. That is what my focus is -- getting in, learning a lot and just having my chance to have a great career like they did. Weather I was drafted in the first, second round or was a free agent, my thinking was not going to change.'

On His Father, Manu, Being a 49er and Seahawk

'I didn't really have any ill will against the Raiders. I know Seahawk fans and Raiders fans don't get together. Even though my dad played for the Seahawks, I was to young to form any opinions. Over the years they have had a lot of great players, like Tim Brown, that I have enjoyed watching. There have also had some great Huskies, like Lincoln Kennedy and Napoleon Kaufman, who have been Raiders. It is a program that has a lot of great history.

'They (Oakland) were one of the teams I told myself I would love to play for because of coach Gruden, the way he is and the way his players play for him. He was the Pro Bowl coach and there is a reason for that.'

On Learning from Gannon

'I'm excited to go in there and learn from Gannon and the other quarterbacks there. He had a great year and he's had a great career. I'm going to go in there and help him do his best and try to learn from him too.'

Getting to Play in Husky Stadium Again

'I thought about that too. 'Wouldn't it be interesting to come back to Husky Stadium, but to be in the away lockerroom.''

His Dad's Reaction

'He was excited. He was elated and gave me a big hug when I got home. Both of my parents are fired up.'

Did UW's style (some option) hurt you?

'I had chances to show people what I could do throwing the ball. Throuht the personal workouts and all that process. I wasn't worried. I knew, if I could do well in that, then we would just see what happens.'

On John Gruden

'I just remember throwing one time and I turned around and saw him standing there. I'm sure he had a big say in the picks. It was funny to see him there. I liked to watch him on the sidelines this past year. I never talked with him. I talked with Trestman and the quarterbacks coach at the combine. I thought it went well.'

Final Thoughts

'I'm an Oakland Raider how. I'll have to go out and buy a dog collar now. I'm just fired up. It was an organziation that was just one game from going to the Super Bowl. It is a team headed in the right direction. I'm excited to be a part of it.'